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Three-Legged Dog Battling Cancer Rescues Orphaned Otter

dog rescues orphaned otter

A lone and orphaned otter was dangerously close to death – until this courageous dog called Gus jumped in to rescue it.

dog rescues orphaned otter
©WCCO – CBS Minnesota – YouTube

We can all learn something from this Goldendoodle called Gus. Gus had recently become a three-legged doggo and was undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer. In spite of all this, he remained outstandingly courageous.

Not all heroes wear capes – some of them have three paws and golden curls.

The Discovery and Treatment of Gus’ Cancer

Prior to his moment of heroism, Gus was already a local hero, having saved a neighborhood dog. However, his life took a turn when cancer was discovered, leading to his leg’s amputation. Undergoing chemotherapy, Gus fought his illness while maintaining his spirited nature.

He adapted remarkably quickly, showing resilience and incredible zest for life. He continued to swim and run, embracing his new reality with the same vigor as before​​.

Dog Rescues Orphaned Otter: Gus to the Rescue

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On a brisk Easter Sunday, Gus, a six-year-old Goldendoodle, embarked on an unexpected rescue mission. Despite battling cancer and adapting to life with three legs, Gus dove into the choppy waters of the St. Croix River in Minnesota.

Facing a cold and challenging swim, he emerged from the water alive and with company! He triumphantly displayed a baby otter in his mouth, delivering it safely to his owner’s grandchildren, Ella and Lucy Hammerstrand​​.

Emergency Care of the Orphaned Baby Otter

The orphaned baby otter, cold and vulnerable, was immediately cared for by Ella and Lucy Hammerstrand. They provided the essential warmth and attention needed for its survival.

Later, the curled-up baby otter was transferred to a specialized facility equipped for its rehabilitation. Here it received close monitoring in an incubator to prevent pneumonia, ensuring its recovery.

Without this intervention, the otter wouldn’t have had a fighting chance at life. Human intervention in wildlife preservation can oftentimes be the difference between life and death.

Survival Rate of Orphaned Otter Pups

The survival of an orphaned otter pup largely depends on its age and development stage. Generally, pups are able to start seeking out food on their own after about 40 days. However, they still require care and attention, and the absence of a mother can significantly impact their chances of survival.

The baby otter in this story was estimated to not even be a week old – it hadn’t even opened its eyes yet! Consequently, without Gus’ intervention, it’s almost certain this baby wouldn’t have survived.

Mother-Offspring Bond in Otters

Otters are known for their close-knit family units, with pups heavily reliant on their mothers for survival. Typically, an otter pup stays with its mother for about six months, during which time it learns essential survival skills.

This period is crucial for the pup’s development, as it transitions from being dependent to being able to swim, dive, and hunt on its own​​​​​​.

Dog Rescues Orphaned Otter: Conclusion


Gus, despite his physical challenges and ongoing battle with cancer, demonstrated extraordinary bravery and instinctual care. Let this spirited doggo be an inspiration for us to hold our heads high, stay resilient, and always look out for those in need.

For more outrageously adorable otters, take a look at these posts:

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